There are many reasons to visit the shores of Lake Michigan. Chicago is one of them. WhoaZone, which appears to be what dreams are made of, is another.
My dreams, at least. And perhaps yours, too, if when you close your eyes at night you see yourself spring-boarding, half-piping, monkey-barring, and action-towering across an inflatable playground before falling harmlessly, acrobatically, hilariously into the water.
That is WhoaZone. It's an obstacle source that floats a hundred yards out from the beach. And like nothing else in the city itself (don’t @ me), it’ll make your trip to Chicago worth it.
LIKE A FREAKING NINJA
The inflatable structure hails from Germany—famous fun-lovers, the Germans—by way of a company called Wibit. I note that only so I can say the following: Whereas Wibit’s water-top WhoaZone resides on Whihala Beach, it also resides in Whiting, Indiana.
Being in Whiting, you might not think the surrounding beach would be all that crowded. You’d be wrong. On nice days, Whihala Beach’s 20 acres attract thousands of people from suburban south Chicago, not to mention all of northern Indiana. Needless to say, they go for the sand. They also go for the green space, the picnic areas, the walking paths, the fishing pier, and the beautiful boardwalk. (And for Whiting’s Pierogi Fest on last full weekend of July!)
But an inflatable playground is something else entirely, and now the beach is more popular than it’s ever been. Not everyone goes for WhoaZone. But many do—and when they do, they’re in for a treat.
The one-acre floating water park is the largest in the Midwest. It includes monkey bars, slides, action towers, jumping platforms, and more. There are 61 floating play elements in all, each one anchored to the lake floor eight feet below the surface. Four different routes offer different difficulty levels so old and young (7+) can play in whatever ninja-like fashion they prefer.
WhoaZone also offers paddle boards, corcls (round boats), and beach cabana rentals. There are food concessions as well as rinse showers, restrooms, a grilling area, a boat launch, and sand volleyball courts. So even after your WhoaZone session is over, you’ll have plenty to do on the lake.
Of course, I'd recommend traveling four hours for an inflatable obstacle course to only the most passionate aquatic ninjas. But if you’re in Chicago anyways—perhaps to watch a beatdown at Wrigley—it’s a worthy way to spend a day.
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WhoaZone is located at 1561 Park Road in Whiting, Indiana(46394).